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An illustration of a dog and sign with red and yellow text on a blue background. 

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Bulldogs are depicted as bullies or mean guard dogs in the media. These tropes dominated in 1940s via cartoons by Warner and MGM. Animators exaggerated a bulldog's snout, teeth to look like tusks, and jowls. Bulldogs are not naturally vicious as media perpetuates. This reputation stems from when they were trained to fight bulls for bullbaiting, an English sport, from 13th century through early 19th century. The term "bulldog" originates from the aforementioned sport.

This popular dog breed are typically easygoing, courageous, and friendly. They represent sports teams as a mascot of 39 American universities and as a symbol of England. The first animal mascot in any sport was Handsome Dan, a bulldog, at Yale University. The British used to call English Bulldogs, "Churchill Dogs", because they both emulated England's strength and courage. However, Prime Minister Winston Churchill did not own any bulldogs personally. Two American presidents owned bulldogs, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Harding's dog, Oh Boy, received the title "First Dog" since he lived with his owner at the White House.


American Kennel Club. (n.d.). Bulldog dog breed information.

Bully bulldog. (2021, March 30). In TV Tropes.

Ripley, K. (2016, August 11). 9 things you didn’t know about the bulldog. American Kennel Club.

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